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George Roper's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 46
Cable Television (1,2,5 Plan)

Question for the Board:  Is the cable system fiscally viable? Looking at the agenda for their next meeting it seems that the RMA board is going to committee an additional large sum of reserves to the Cable Television System.  It was my understanding that the board was going to have a public review of the 1,2,5 plan and determine if it was truly fiscally viable before making any further commitments of reserves.   

At the board meeting on the 21st the board should be able to show how closely the actual revenues infused by the upgraded premium-service subscribers compared to the projections made last year.  

 

Those of us who want choice are still the major source of income that subsidizes this venture.  Without this monthly television tax the system would not be able to operate.

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Mike Burnett's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 183
Cable Television (1,2,5 Plan)

George,

The Board needs to be held accountable to their fiscal plans.  This means that they can't rob the reserves and not be held accountable to report on the fiscal integrity of the budget.  The Finance Committee should have a very straight forward out line for reporting and sharing with the membership month over month, with quarterly outlooks to be able to make adjustments to the forecast so we come in on budget at year end.

The Communications Committee should report with a detailed Profit /Loss Statement updated monthly, since they are draining the reserves for expansion/upgrades.  Here is a website that provides the basic information the report should include.

http://www.va-interactive.com/inbusiness/editorial/finance/intemp/income.html

When the General Manager is allowed by the Board to use reserves, then there has to be a plan to pay them back and this needs to be reported accurately as was done when the Broadband Service was initiated. 

Additionally, the Board should not be using the Maintenance Staff for construction projects.  If the maintenance staff doesn't have anything to do, then they should be reduced to a staffing level that directly supports a consistent level of maintenance month over month.  If they do have maintenance work to be done, then using them for special projects means they will be creating deferred maintenance.  These are hidden costs that are offset, but will inevitably come back around in future years thereby causing an increase in dues.

We need to stop the blood loss in this system.  The General Manager has fired the Cable Manager, we have lost our Cable Technicians, and we appear to be using a Committee member part time for some ???? services.  The General Manager's solution to this is to use Rod and his maintenance team to fill the gap.  The General Manager should not have been permitted to fire the Cable Manager until a replacement was found.  The General Manager has no qualifications to run the Cable System and was not hired to do so.  The poor decisions being made seem to be compounding at an alarming rate.  This Board is moving in the wrong direction and will ultimately cost the association increased dues.   

By the way, a large section of Murieta North lost both Television and Broadband Services in the early hours yesterday and was out for most of the morning.   

Michael F. Burnett

Daniel Maglionico's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 207
RM Cable

Gentlemen:

What can be done to stop this cable TV nonsense?  

I note that both of you continue to pound the Board but your input is falling on deaf ears.  Why would anyone want the RM cable?  It cost more than the competition, offers less, and from what I've read has poor service to its subscribers.   

What can we do to put an end to this madness???

I am available and willing to help!  

Diane Hatcher's picture
Joined: 08/14/2007
Posts: 11
Additional Cable expenditures

I agree we need to see that the expansion costs are actually cost effective and that we won't be merely incurring the additional costs in our monthly dues because they did not get the additional subscribers that they were hoping for.  Personally, I was interested in the expansion with the hopes that I would actually be able to get the channels that I wanted (ie. Sci Fi, FX, etc)  without having to change to  DISH.  I figured that we would get some vote in what additional channels would be available to us.  But instead we got additional channels which I see no benefit in having especially at the additional cost of $25+ per month.   I am pretty sure that I am not the only one that was hoping for these channels.  I guess I will just stay with the basic channels or end up switching to DISH, since I don't even have the option on Rancho Murieta cable.

 

Andy Keyes's picture
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 289
The Cable system

The cable system is much like the social security trust fund.  Its been looted for years by the rest of the association.  Selling the system would only temporarily reduce dues.   Give the plan a chance as Julie laid it out last year.  So far picture quality is greatly improved.  I have been put off a little lately with the intermittent broadband service but to be honest with you we dont watch that much television to whine and complain.  If given the option I would probably bale out of the system and buy a dish but I cant see paying twice for the same programming that I dont watch.  I do wish they would offer the NFL package or PPV.  I think they would find that PPV would easily pay for itself and fund the rest of the reserve needs.

Wendy Feldman's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 34
For anyone even considering

For anyone even considering RMA's cable television:  DON'T DO IT!!!   We bought a new HD-TV and tried cable for two months.  The picture stinks, the HD offerings are non-existent, and the cost is outrageous.  None of the promised upgrades ever materialized.  Switched back to Dish Network HD yesterday:  magnificent! 

And now another $95K is being thrown down the drain. 

Mr. Stiffler talks a great talk, but he sure as hell doesn't walk the walk.  

John T. Weatherford's picture
Joined: 08/06/2007
Posts: 66
It is time to do something about this Cable sinkhole!

It is possible to repair and upgrade this system to a functional state. However the RMA board to this day can’t tell us what the final cost will be. The original 1, 2, 5 Plan never included a total cost estimate but did include some pie in the sky revenue projections, which fortunately did not make it into the 2007 budget plan. If they had we would be upside down to the tune of about $300,000 this year alone.

 

Let me bring you up to speed on the Year to Date progress of the 1 2 5 plan.

 

  1. We are 7 months behind schedule.
  2. We are over budget on the buildout of the system.
  3. We lost at least 100 premium movie subscribers since the first of the year. (Out of 300 as of Jan 1)
  4. We have no indication of any subscriber growth for the purchase of premium services. (see #3 if you can’t retain what you have, where’s the demand?)
  5. We are running in the red on current revenue.
  6. We are continuing to run up fixed costs and expenses.
  7. We are continuing to raid the reserves each year.
  8. We still haven’t established any benchmarks to define success.
  9. We have had a 100% turnover in staff. (Currently we only have one installer and no manager, incidentally the creator of the 1 2 5 plan was run off but unfortunately he didn’t take the plan with him)
  10. We are now using the Maintenance department to bailout the buildout.(see #2)

 

If this were a real world business there would be some “come to Jesus meetings” going on right now. Instead, the Board approved another $95,000 and said they will take a look and analyze this later. (of course, still with no goals or benchmarks)

 

Everyone that knows me knows how I feel about this Cable TV boondoggle so why am I using he word “We” instead of “them”… because we are them and it is going to be up us to do something about this. I am going to ask for your help, more on that later.

John T Weatherford

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